A reflection essay, also known as a reflective essay is the one type of essay that requires you to tap into your emotions and also
evoke those of your reader. When writing this kind of essay, you need to have good critical thinking skills and be able to articulate
your emotions in a very expressive way when relaying your opinions on particular matters.
Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Reflection Essay
Like in any other essay, your topic is a vital focal point of your reflection essay and it is essential in making your essay stand out. To choose a suitable topic for your reflection essay, think about a life-changing event that you have experienced and that is relevant to the next phase of your life may it be academic or professional. Then tap into the emotion that the particular event made you experience and draw a thesis, from which you can draw a topic.
Using the above-identified thesis, identify your main ideas and arguments, then outline thoughts from this. Each thought or idea goes into a different paragraph, you can do this using a flow diagram to help you create a logical flow of thoughts.
Thereafter, write your introductory paragraph which will introduce the reader to your topic and state how it affects your decision based on the essay. This paragraph carries the weight of the essay so make it brief informative and eye-catching.
In the subsequent paragraphs, state your ideas and support each of them with valid arguments and personal opinions and reflections.
Write your conclusion paragraph, stating your opinion on the subject matter in a subtle way and briefly expressing your thoughts and emotions. You can conclude your essay by using a rhetorical question to provoke the reader’s thoughts or ask the reader’s opinion on the subject matter.
Structure of a Reflection Essay
Introduction – Introduce the topic and provide a brief overview of the reflection.
Body Paragraphs – Discuss one aspect of the reflection, providing details and supporting evidence. – Describe how this experience has impacted you or how your thoughts have changed as a result.
Conclusion – Summarize your overall reflections on the topic and restate why it is important to think about it.
Use your introductory paragraph to catch the reader’s attention by making it interesting. Give a hint of the thesis and a hint of your opinion.
Given that a reflective essay is a personal experience, personalize it using the first-person reporting style “I”
Use a quote or two in your introductory paragraph to make your essay more authoritative.
To make the essay more interesting, describe the event not only in a positive but also from a different perspective and propose a solution that may have made things different.
Personalize your experience and how this can help you impact other people’s lives.
Mistakes To Avoid When Writing a Reflection Essay
Wrong structure; the structure of an essay is a basic point and even when writing a reflection essay, using the correct structure is essential as it guides your flow of thoughts helping you maintain a logical flow of ideas.
A reflection essay is a personal experience but that should not make you write your essay in an informal style. Be formal!
Including too much personal information – The idea is to use personal experience to shape an opinion on a thesis, thus do not include too much personal information.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Reflection Essay
Be descriptive with your ideas and expressive of your feelings
Do not give too much personal information. The idea is to use personal experience to discuss an opinion.
Follow the classical essay format: introduction, body, conclusion
Personal experiences may feel like they lack structure, do not be tempted to just write for the sake of writing, use a structure.
Be formal in your writing style
Do not use informal language just because you are describing a personal experience
Use factual material to support your opinions since it is an academic essay
Do not just let your thoughts go on a freelance flow with no supportive facts.
Sample Reflection Essay Topics
Your reflection essay topic can make or break your essay, so it needs to be simple, relevant, and interesting enough for the reader.
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